UNOLS Safety Standards For Oceanographic Winches and Wire

New requirements in effect as of June 2011

Effective June 2011, all scientists who use their own oceanographic cables and winches aboard UNOLS vessels must comply with new safety standards that have strict requirements for oceanographic cables (defined in Appendix A of the UNOLS Safety Standards).

For equipment permanently installed on Scripps ships, compliance is the responsibility of the Ship Operations & Marine Technical Support (SOMTS) department.

However, for cables and winches that are owned by individual scientists the responsibility for compliance rests with the scientist.

Requirements for compliance with Appendix A are described in a fact sheet linked here. The fact sheet also provides for different kinds of over-the-side operations.

SOMTS is prepared to support SIO scientists in complying with these regulations, and will be happy to provide specific guidance. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Marine Superintendent CAPT Zoltan Kelety (tel 858.534.1643 email:

To help you understand and prepare for the new rules, SOMTS will host a two-day workshop led by Rich Findlay (University of Miamiís Director of Marine Technical Services, who leads the UNOLS wire safety program).

The workshop will be held in the conference room of the SIO Nimitz Marine Facility:
Day 1: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 0800 - 1230
Day 2: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 0800 - 1230

There is no registration fee associated with the workshop. However, we ask that you register for the workshop by Tuesday, May 17, 2011:

For more information about the workshop, please contact Aubri Steele (University of Miami) at (772) 242-2582 or

Click here to read UNOLS announcement regarding Appendix A requirements (April 2011)
Click here to read the full UNOLS Research Vessel Safety Standard (Rev March 2009)

Bruce Appelgate
Associate Director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography